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President, Mels fan club.
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So I want to add a ceiling fan above our bed where there is nothing there, no light or anything so I'd have to wire the whole thing. I'm sure its easy (for someone that knows what they are doing) but electricity scares me. I would need to run wire from the ceiling to a light switch and not sure if I need to add a new switch with two switches or keep the single switch one? Also what kind of wire do I need to buy, and can I just lay it across the beams or do I need to screw it down in place?

Basically I need someone to walk me through step by step on how to do this the right way.


Thank you.
 

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First thing: how do you want to control the fan and light?

Separately? Together?

I just installed 3 ceiling fans in my house where there was nothing. All our lights had to be plugged in and the outlet was controlled by the switch. This is not a tough task. With a little help, we can get you through it.

BTW, I am not a licensed electrician, but I know how to do this.
 

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OMF
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Sway, you'll need some 14/2 Romex (2 14 Ga. conductors and a ground), depending on your choice of fan you can wire the fan to a switch and just use the pull switch (chain) to control the speed. Hell there are fans now that have a remote control!
Another thing you'll need is a box to mount the fan to, I prefer the supported type that will actually span 2 trusses.

Laying the Romex across the trusses is perfectly acceptable in residential.

If you have switch outlet in your room this should be relatively simple, you'll need to pick up that power and reroute it to the location in the ceiling.
 

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Past Bronco Owner
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There is another type of controller I use that doesn’t need additional wiring except for the romex from the switch to the box. There is an additional box by the fan that controls the fan speed and lights.



Also make sure you get a 2 or 3 in my case retrofit box to add another switch. This is more work but worth it in the end. I put fans in all three bedrooms and one in the living room and dining room. All use the controllers.
If you haven’t thought of it you will likely need a ceiling mount bracket made for the weight of a fan.



#1 rule is turn off the power and verify it before messing around with 120v.
 

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Past Bronco Owner
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Hopefully this will help

 

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Past Bronco Owner
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OK I can't sleep. It's past 3AM. I will add a couple pics.

I have this fan in the dining room, living room and master bedroom.



I have this model in the two additional bedrooms.



I am also lucky enough to have vaulted ceilings which meant running the wires would lead to cutting holes in the walls to get the wires down to where the light switches were located.

It was a lot of work to install the fans but in HOT sunny socal it saves a bunch of money not having to use the AC as much or at least not keeping it as cold in the summer months.

I actually use them year round to circulate the air in the house.
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
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I am not an electrician, but work for a small construction company. Here's my 2 cents.

Around here residential circuits are usually either 15 or 20 amp. 15 for lights & 20 for receptacles. 15 amp circuits use 14 or larger wire. 20 amp uses 12 or larger wire. Smaller number = larger wire. Check the size of the breaker for the circuit you are going to use. If you are tying into an existing 20 amp circuit use 12 gauge wire.

Make sure you attach & protect the romex where it enters the box. The holes in the box can be pretty sharp & might damage the wire if it's run without a connector. Officially you should staple the wire within 1 foot of each box & every few feet between, but when sneaking wire thru existing walls stapling is frequently skipped.


They also make a glow in the dark flexible fiberglass rod for fishing wires thru walls. You still have to drill thru plates & fireblocks, but sometimes that flexible rod can help keep the number of holes in the wall to a minimum. There are single sticks around 7' long, or screw together versions that run over 30'. They are flexible enough to bend to fit into an opening close to a floor or in a tight attic.


Wiring Simplified is a pretty easy to understand resource. It has wire size charts showing when to increase wire size when you exceed certain distances. Hardware stores & home centers should have them.
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
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Also, there are 2 common ways to run power from a switch. Sometimes hot & neutral are run to a receptacle or overhead light, then a switch leg is run from hot to the switch in the wall then back to the receptacle/light. With this system there is no neutral wire at the switch at the wall. It can be confusing, because you will see a white wire in the box, but it is used on the black side of the circuit as part of the switch leg. It is the only place where a white wire is allowed to be used on the black side. Some guys will wrap the white with black tape to indicate it, but most don't.

If you want to add a fan at a new location, with that system, you have to do some rework to get neutral to the wall switch location to tie into & send on to the new location. Or you have to run your new wires directly from the switched receptacle. If you are going to rewire the switched receptacle so it is hot all the time, then you can use the white wire of the switch leg to send neutral to the switch box. You run hot & neutral both directly to the receptacle, then tie the white & black running to the switch into black & white at the receptacle. White is disconnected from the switch & tied to the new white heading to the fan. Black is still tied to the switch, & new black connects to the other side of the switch.

The second type system runs both hot & neutral thru the switch box. Hot is switched, while neutral just passes thru on its way to the switch/receptacle. Both are available in the same box to tie into & pull elsewhere. This is what you hope for, but the other system is more common.

And to clarify, white is neutral, black (Or another color, red is the second most common) is hot, green or bare is ground.
 

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Premium 4 Lyfe - Way Back Staff
'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" on 33's
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I'm not an electrician either... but I slept in this morning, so.... :goodfinge


Unlike all these here fancy solutions (which are great info, obviously) I had other issues. We live in a manufactured home (trailer trash) and so, proper wiring isn't really an option with the space we have to work with between the walls and the absolute lack of proper patch repair materials available for these.

So I had to come up with a simple, plug in alternative. It sucks... becouse it drives my OCD totally bug-sh!t, but with the fireplace in a living room with no opening windows, you have to move the heat out of there somehow... and this seemed like the best way.


Got a ceiling fan from Home Depot with reversible direction switch, on/off light and 3 speed fan. Reversible switch is small but only gets flipped at the end of each season (push air down for winter heat, pull air up/in for summer cooling) but the light and fan controls are just dangling pull-cords.

Because there's no outlet installed on the ceiling and no way to get up under the ceiling to provide for one... I bought a regular, ground plug extension cord, clipped the ends and connected it to the fan. The cord was vulgar and painfully obvious against the white ceiling, so back to HD where I found a plastic "cord liner" casing. I wrapped that around the ext. cord and used small screw hooks to hold it up in place.

Plugged it into the wall and have been very happy with it's function and only mildly annoyed with it's over-all appearance.


Living in a real, stick built home... you have way more options available to you and I'm very embarrassed by my attempt to work around the limits of a double-wide, but here's a pic for posterity sake.
 

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President, Mels fan club.
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guy:beer


The fan we are looking at has a remote so I can use the single switch that is there. Right now the switch works the outlet that we have a light pugged into. The fan also has a light that we will use along with the one that's pugged into the outlet. So that means the one switch will work the fan/light and the lamp that is pugged into the outlet. Would that be ok or should I get the dual switch?
 

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Thanks guy:beer


The fan we are looking at has a remote so I can use the single switch that is there. Right now the switch works the outlet that we have a light pugged into. The fan also has a light that we will use along with the one that's pugged into the outlet. So that means the one switch will work the fan/light and the lamp that is pugged into the outlet. Would that be ok or should I get the dual switch?
Do you really think you want to use both lights with one switch?

You can wire the plug to be constant power and the ceiling fan to use the switch. Then you can turn the knob on the lamp to turn off/on. Most likely all you have to do is make a change in the switch box to do so. That's what I did.
 

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Past Bronco Owner
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or use one of these.

 

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In the US, residential wiring is 220V single-phase, which uses 4 conductors: two 110VAC hot legs, a neutral that feeds directly back to the generating station, and a local ground. For a 110VAC device (like most in the US), only 1 of the hot legs is used, and it should be a Black wire. Neutral is white. Ground is either green or bare. (For a 220VAC device, both hot legs are used - the 2nd typically being Red - and the Neutral is often NOT used).
I don't know how you do things in other parts of the country, but all the neturals I've seen are simply a ground wire that runs down the power pole and is connected to a ground rod at the base of the pole. Nothing fancy about it, it's just a ground and it's not going back to where the power is generated at.

Many things that require 240 volt (or 220 if you want to call it that) also have 120 volt circuits in it so they will use a neutral too. For example a kitchen range that uses 240 volts to power the heating elements but 120 volts to power the lights and all the electronics and other motors. The only thing I think I have that is strictly 240 is the old lincoln buzz box stick welder.
 

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Then it's not really a "neutral" - it's just a corporate-owned ground. You're seeing the old standard. What I described is the modern standard.

Or you might be seeing a ground just for that pole, or for something mounted on that pole, like the case of the transformer or a street light. That doesn't mean there's not ALSO a true neutral going back to the power station.
I was a lineman up untill 2002 and thats how it's always been done. I haven't seen any additional conductors added to the poles around here for that extra netural wire since I left line work so I'll say nothing has changed there. But as I said in my last post, I don't know how things are done in other parts of the country. I would be willing to bet it's not any different though as far as where the netural goes once it's up on your power pole. Get your binnoculars out and take a look at where your service drop is connected to your transformer(assuming you're on overhead power). You'll see your hot lines connected to the transformer and your netural connected to a bare copper wire down the pole to a ground rod.



So the local standards can change any time, and existing equipment may not be brought up-to-date for a LONG time (if ever).Any generating station can choose its own transmission voltage (~24KV IIRC). That, the momentary load in your area, the design & construction of your transformer, the load on it, and even the type of meter you use to measure it can ALL affect the voltage you see in your house.
True, but with a properly engineered distribution system you will have the proper voltage at your meter. It's all very heavilly regulated by the utility authority in your state so it's all but impossible for the utility company to do whatever they want or to simply change regulations and requirements.

The Public Utilities Commission in my state mandates that the power at your meter be 120/240volts plus or minus a small percentage. The 120 volt line is OK anywhere from 114 to 126 volts and the 240 lines are OK anywhere from 228 to 252 volts.
Your state may be slightly different with the allowable tolerance, but I'd bet they specify 120/240 as the standard and not 110/220.
 
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